How A Real Aloud Favorite Is Born

     A read-aloud favorite has been born in my home.  It happens from time to time, but it’s rare for it to happen in just a week’s time.  Sometimes a book becomes a favorite because it’s repetitive text wiggles its way into a child’s heart.  Such was the case with my William and The Story About Ping by Marjorie Flack; I would pause, while reading, every time the text read “on the Yangtze River”, and Will would always supply those words to fill in.  I think he was three.  I can still hear his sweet, toddler voice in my mind. 

     On other occasions, a book will become a favorite because of a huge, fun surprise at the end.  Yes, I know, if it’s a favorite, one that is read over and over again, how can the huge, fun surprise at the end still be a big deal.  Well, if you read it right, with plenty of animation in your voice, and if you’re careful to read the big surprise the same way every time, your children will be delighted each and every time!  I promise.  This was true in the case of It’s the Bear! by Jez Alborough.  Fun, fun, fun.

     This time around the favorite book was born from the ridiculous voice I used for the troll in The Three Billy Goats Gruffby Paul Galdone.  As I mentioned last week, when I read this to Will and my grandchildren last week, the troll came out sounding more like an inner city thug than a troll.  On the other hand, I’m not sure what a troll is supposed to sound like; so, perhaps, I have it right afterall.  It turns out, that my four year old grandson impersonated that troll all week long, using the same voice I did.  All week Corin heard, “WHO DAT TRIP TRAPPIN’ ON MAH BRIDGE”, except he used the word “trippin’ ” instead of “trip trappin; “, which cracks me up all the more.

     When Corin and the kids came out yesterday for our Thursday Library Day at Grandma’s House, my six year old grandson chose four books for me to read, and The Three Billy Goats Gruff was in the stack.  We read it first.  Oh, my word!!!  When it came time for the troll to say, “Who’s that trip trappin’ on my bridge?”, all four members of my audience yelled out, “WHO DAT TRIPPIN’ ON MAH BRIDGE?” at the top of their voices, sending poor me into fits of laughter!!!  Whooooo, boy, that was fun!!  I am almost certain that we’ll be reading this book often in the next few weeks! 

     The other books we read are as follows:

     Cactus Hotel.  This is a wonderful book that we’ve used for science and/or nature study, as well as reading for pleasure.  The book tells the amazing life cycle of the Saguaro cactus, from how a seed came to be planted in the shade of a paloverde tree, through its decades of life and growth, and ending as it comes crashing to the desert floor after two hundred years.  Even then, though, the story continues.  The heart of this book surrounds not only the amazing way that this cactus grows and develops, but also features the many, many desert birds, animals and insects that make their home in the living cactus.  When the Saguaro, at last dies and collapses, the original occupants of this “cactus hotel” move out, but new occupants can now move in.  Beautiful illustrations and an easy to understand text.  All of yesterday’s readers, ages 2 – 9, enjoyed it.

     Saint George and the Dragon  We love hero stories here.  This is a hero story at its best.  The tale of George, who has pledged himself to serve the Fairy Queen, follows Princess Una back to her kingdom to do battle with a fierce dragon who has besieged her parents’ kingdom.  At last they arrive and the battle is waged.  Time after time George is wounded, but falls in battle in places that bring healing to him as he rests, only to wake and do battle against the dragon time and again.  In the end, the dragon is slain and the King and Queen lead their countrymen in celebration.  The King pledges the hand of his daughter, Una, as a reward to George; but George remembers his promised years of service to the Fairy Queen.  He is heroic and faithful!!  The King allows the young couple to marry at once, if they love each other (which they do), promising his kingdom to George at the end of his promised years of service.  Gorgeous illustrations* throughout!.  This dragon is very fierce, and the text a bit long for the younger crowd.  Judging by my listeners yesterday, I’d read this aloud to those six and up.  (*One brief word of caution – the illustrations in this book are gorgeous, as are the beautiful, full color borders on the pages.  However, we discovered, after having read the book several times, that some of the fairies, woven into the intricate art work in the borders, needed some clothes.  My husband handled this easily with a pretty, colored marker and a few minutes work.)

     Just My Friend and Me   Little Critter enjoys having a friend over to spend the day, but in the end he admits that sometimes its fun to be alone, too.  This is just one of the titles from the Little Critter series of books by Mercer Mayer.  The Little Critter books are certainly not known to be “great” literature, but they are a fun read with little ones.  Little Critter is a bit mischievous, and things have a way of not quite going right for him most of the time, but he’s lovable because he appeals to the child in all of us.  The entire crowd, ages 2 – 9, enjoyed this yesterday.  We have several titles from this series on the shelves of our Heritage Library

     Fridays at home are wonderful days for me.  We do the mega-shop every other Friday, so I really do appreciate the other Friday that I get to stay home.  Since I am not home every other Friday, I don’t schedule any of my normal homemaking tasks for that day.  That means that on the Fridays I am at home, I have a bit of time to do things I don’t normally do.  The dailies are done, of course, but I’m able to just mosey about and take care of other little things all throughout the day.  I may even be able to work in a bit of sewing or some other project. 

     I am a home body.  Home is where I enjoy being most.  My children are not involved in activities outside of our home, so we aren’t drawn out during the week for lessons or games or such.  We like it that way.  Today, however, just didn’t quite turn out the way I’d hoped.

     My husband was able to finish moving everything over from my old lap top to my new one.  I love that man!  My old picture program works just great on here.  However, a new dilemma reared its head today.  The adaptor that we’ve been using to connect the camera card to the laptops does not fit into my new laptop’s slot.  Phooey!  My husband said to go ahead and buy an adaptor that would work, so off to town I went.  Fortunately, I did NEED one thing from JoAnn’s to finish up Will’s second pair of jammies, and there were a couple of other things I could pick up while I was there.  It also gave me an opportunity to top off our gas tank before our drive to church on Sunday. 

      Then, towards evening, my husband told me to pick up a couple more boxes of the laminate flooring while it is on sale so that he could lay it in our entry way, too!  Yee haw!  But, the coupon deal is only good through Sunday, and our Costco on a Saturday is not a fun place to be.  Since I’d already been out and about for part of the afternoon today, it seemed like a good idea to just load everyone up, feed ’em burgers at Wendy’s for dinner, and get the laminate today.  Copper joined us at Wendy’s and enjoyed a bowl of chili while we finished our burgers. 

     My home-loving, stay-at-home self sure did have an adventurous day!  That’s okay, because tomorrow I WILL be home, with no where on earth to be but here.  Yee haw!

     The new device for transferring pictures from the camera card to the computer requires some software installation.  Though I can do this, I prefer to allow my husband to do this job.  Therefore, there aren’t any pictures with today’s post, but tomorrow things should be back up and running normally. 

     Though it required uploading the pictures to the desk top computer, copying them onto my flash drive, uploading them from the flash drive onto my laptop for editing and posting, I was able to join my daughters in being quiet!

God bless you as you look well to the ways of your household!
Proverbs 31:27

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11 comments to How A Real Aloud Favorite Is Born

  • You made those boys day! 😆

  • What?  By reading Three Billy Goats Gruff to them?  Make tha, with them??  Oh, it was too fun.  It made my day,too!!

  • I loved “Ping” as a kid (I’m 28 now!)  I was so hoping to find a copy here for my smallies (we’re Australian)… I didn’t think to check to see if I could source it from overseas, duh!

    Some books are just quiet classics, they don’t get the hoopla that some do, but then you talk about it, and everyone knows what you are talking about

  • I’ll have to check out those books I haven’t heard of before. I’m always looking for future favorites for the grandchildren.

    Our most famous read aloud book was Goodnight Moon. Only because it was read aloud so often by my husband that he could repeat every word. I remember one trip from Michigan to his parent’s house in Valparaiso, Indiana. Although Stephanie was about six or seven years old, she had him repeating Goodnight Moon while I drove.

    Christopher’s favorite preschool book was Mouse Around. It had no words so they could change the story each time they read it. 🙂

    By the way, did your book arrive? It can take a long time to get to the West Coast for some reason.

  • I’m a homebody too. I usually try to do all my errand type things in one day and then the next day I stay home. I try to at least alternate if it’s “one of those weeks.” We don’t participate in a lot of extra activities outside our home. Whereas our immediate neighbors are never home! They are always running to one thing or another. They barely have time to say hello and wave!

    Your flooring is looking really good! We have laminate flooring in the main areas of our home and have been very happy with it. We installed it 9 years ago and it’s held up very well.


  • Everyone here has some read aloud favorites…Charlotte’s was “Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear?” She could recite the entire book and it was always in the stack with the 3 chosen for bedtime. Kyle loved anything Dr. Seuss, and Bud’s all time favs were The Berestain Bears…he has ALL of them and took them home for TJ a couple of years ago. Zach loves “I’ll Love You Forever.” And TJ always pulls the Dick and Jane collection for me to read….it was our “sittin on the glider, looking for birds and jet planes” book last summer. I love how you use the voices…that can make the most boring book a favorite. The 3 Little Pigs is one I find difficult, but add those voices in there and you have a winner!

    I am a homebody too, but there are days when it is necessary to go out. Today is one of those for me with TJ’s party. I have 3 large casseroles of Mostacolli to make and a huge salad. Better get on that! Have a blessed day at home today!


  • Our Darling Daughter’s Favorite Book is I Love You Forever when she was little. Now I am not so sure she has so much toys and stuffed animals that we must reorganize her room so she can have a space to just be able to read her books and have her books read to her.
    God Bless,

  • :goodjob:  We love Ping.  🙂   Hope your day is blessed.


  • I’m so glad you had a great Library Day!  The flooring is just beautiful, too!  It will be so exciting, I’m sure, when it’s all finished and you can get eveything back in it’s place.  I know we don’t mind the upheaval when it is accomplishing such a beautiful change, but it’s nice to get back to normal, too.

    I’m really wishing for “normal” again here at my house!:spinning:

  • the story of ping is a big family favorite of ours! :goodjob:

  • the story of ping is a big family favorite of ours! :goodjob: